Enoch Powell's Rivers of Blood Speech is one of those things where I always knew what it was about, but didn't take the time to give it a listen. The reason I didn't give it a listen was simple. Life is to short to spend 25 minutes listening to racist dogma. There was little incentive for me to listen to the voice of an ignorant man, that's largely out of touch with reality.
But over the weekend, I decided to pluck up the emotional energy to give it a listen in its entirety. And it made me angry. Very angry.
The speech uses powerful language to strike fear into people. He says things like "we must be mad. Literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependents". He compares "commonwealth citizens" to "aliens", "commonwealth immigrants" to "negro”. He also refers to "immigrant children" as "pickaninnies".
Charming man isn't he? He was a man who by all accounts appeared to be a miserable, deeply unhappy man. I have a hypothesis; racist people are unhappy people. I've yet to meet a happy racist person. Have you?
In the comments section of the video, there are a lot of far-right (mostly men) voicing their support. Many were about them leaving (or intending to leave) England, because of all the immigrants. The irony is that these people have now become immigrants themselves in other countries.
So surely, immigrants can't be all too bad? Immigrants contribute more to society than they withdraw. As I've said countless times before, immigrants don't risk their lives, making dangerous crossings to sit at home and collect benefits.
But it's clear that Powell's ideology remains strong within the current government. It follows on from what I wrote a fortnight ago. The government came out strongly supporting Tony Abbott as they appointed him as a UK trade ambassador. Mr Abbott is a homophobe and a misogynist, and one who shares a similar political views to Enoch Powell.
If you also decide to listen to the rivers of blood speech, let me know what you think. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.
Have an awesome week ahead,
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Tweet of the Week
This Week's Wisdom
"How do we get to know ourselves? Examining and reflecting on our feelings is one way. When someone makes us angry, sad, annoyed, bitter, jealous or joyful – our feelings are always about us rather than about the other person. Examined feelings are a treasure trove of personal understanding."
– In the book Pebbles of Perception, by Laurence Endersen
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